"Cholera" Claims Three Lives in Haiti as IOM Supports Return of Evacuees

Haiti -  The exceptional rainfall brought by Hurricane Sandy over Haiti caused floods that are now being blamed for a surge in presumed cholera cases and the death of three people in the city of Gonaives. Of the 277 suspected cholera cases reported thus far, 117 are in the capital Port-au-Prince.
"To date, we have distributed cholera prevention kits packed with chlorine, oral rehydration salts and water purification Aquatabs to 6,177 families in 25 priority camps.  We have also conducted mass awareness sessions on cholera prevention in camps in and around Port-au-Prince," says IOM Haiti Health Unit programme manager Kristin Parco.
IOM is also working with Haitian authorities and its UN and NGO partners to carry out post-storm field assessments in the most affected departments of South, South East, Nippes, Grand Anse and West.
"Once the results of these evaluations are received, the response plans will be coordinated with all partners," said Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.
IOM Health and Disaster Risk Reduction teams are providing support to the mayors of Croix des Bouquets, Tabarre, and Cite Soleil with storm and cholera-related interventions.  IOM field offices in Cap Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Leogane and Les Cayes are standing by to assist the local authorities.
"The situation is particularly serious; there are major needs in terms of food due to crops destroyed, first by Hurricane Isaac and now Sandy.  There has been considerable damage to houses, creating more displacement and compounding the housing problem that has existed since the earthquake of January 2010.  Recovery needs may now be larger than initially foreseen.  This will become clearer as more in-depth assessments are carried out under the leadership and coordination of the government of Haiti," added Goodstein.
Immediately after the passage of Hurricane Sandy, IOM provided support to the Directorate of Civil Protection to return the 1,250 people evacuated ahead of the storm from 11 camps considered at high risk of flooding. Despite these and other preventive measures, Sandy left a death toll of 54, with 15 still missing and 18 injured.
IOM also distributed 15,501 storm‐related non-food relief items, in various locations including Port-au- Prince, Les Cayes, Jacmel and Gonaives.
The response was funded by contributions from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO.)
For more information please contact
Michela Macchiavello
IOM Haiti
Tel: +509. 37731958
Email: mmacchiavello@iom.int
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